Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has responded to media reports that the Special Investigating Unit is investigating a complaint about a multi-million rand tender that allegedly benefitted two of his close associates.

The tender was awarded to KwaZulu-Natal-based communications company Digital Vibes that reportedly received R82 million in a COVID-19 consultancy contract for communications about the pandemic.

Mkhize told the National Council of Provinces that the contract was probed by an external investigator.

He said that he had advised his Department that the late Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu, had raised specific findings on deviations that were implemented in the contract and found them to be irregular.

“He informed me that he had resolved to investigate these matters further and the actual contract in order to ensure that the Department is not found wanting to be having irregular tenders. I fully  supported this view and asked him to go ahead at the time he sought guidance on whether this must be done by internal audit,- given the fact that  other investigations had been done externally because of lack of capacity internally, advised the Director-General to procure the services of an  external independent service provider to investigate this,” said Mkhize.

Mkhize said he welcomed the SIU’s statement that they will also investigate the allegations and that the outcomes of the probe will be reported to the public.

The SIU confirmed earlier that it is probing a complaint about the tender.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said, “The allegation is that there was collusion in the processes of the appointment of this company are questionable. We have sent the documentation to the department(s) that are concerned to look into getting us information. Once that is done, those decisions will be made and we will be able to know what really happened.”

SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, says the Department of Health is cooperating with the investigation: